UNV Youth Volunteering Strategy publicly released

20 Sep 2013

Yesterday, Richard Dictus, Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, joined a distinguished group of speakers at the Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (IANYD) roundtable in New York, where he publicly released the UNV Youth Volunteering Strategy for 2014-2017.

The UNV Youth Volunteering Strategy aims to facilitate the engagement of youth in global peace and sustainable human development through volunteerism, bringing the voice of youth into the development discourse and helping young people to realize their full social, economic and human potential. 

Richard Dictus shared the philosophy taken by UNV in developing the strategy.

“When the Secretary-General called on UNV to create a youth volunteer programme in his Five-Year Action Agenda, we interpreted this in the broadest sense, pledging not only to engage young people as volunteers, but to facilitate the engagement of youth in global peace and sustainable human development through volunteerism, bringing the voice of youth into the development discourse and helping young people to realize their full social, economic and human potential.”

With over 1.8 billion young people in the world today, the largest group in history, the release of the UNV Youth Volunteering Strategy document is timely. Historically, young people have faced social exclusion, and youth in general are disproportionately affected by extreme poverty, unemployment and lack of access to education. However, they are also increasingly acting as the agents of change in society, calling for institutions that are more responsive to national or global concerns, and providing the energy, creative ideas and determination to drive reform.

Mr Dictus encouraged wide-ranging support for harnessing the power and innovation of young people, emphasizing that “we cannot let the idealism and energy of youth go to waste.” 

The roundtable audience comprised around 100 organizations, members of the United Nation’s Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (IANYD) and United Nations Member States, and was moderated by the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi.